Puneri Paltan returned to winning ways with a 31-23 victory over Bengaluru Bulls at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday. Manjeet was their leading raider with seven raid points and skipper Surjeet Singh registered another High 5.
Both sides traded blows early on but neither managed to get the upper hand even though Puneri Paltan had a slender 6-4 lead after the opening 10 minutes. The final 10 minutes of the first half, too, followed a similar pattern as Bengaluru Bulls stayed within touching distance of Puneri Paltan.
Bengaluru Bulls levelled the score at 7-7 courtesy of ‘Hi-Flyer’ Pawan Sehrawat, who became the first player to score 100 raid points this season. The closing stages of the first period witnessed the teams get most of their points in Do-or-Die situations. Just when it looked like Puneri Paltan were about to take a one-point lead in the break, Sehrawat pulled off a successful raid make it 10-10 at halftime.
Puneri Paltan began the second period on the front foot after successful tackles on Sehrawat and Rohit Kumar. A two-point Do-or-Die raid by Manjeet moments later reduced Bengaluru Bulls to two men on the mat. Puneri Paltan then seized the initiative and inflicted the first All-Out on the match on Bengaluru Bulls to take a 19-11 lead, as well as control of the match.
The defending champions tried to forge a comeback, but resolute defending and efficient raiding ensured that Puneri Paltan kept the scoreboard ticking over. The final few minutes of the contest saw Puneri Paltan put in a disciplined performance to keep their sizeable lead intact.
Bengaluru Bulls’ Banty scored a two-point raid in the last few minutes of the match to give his side a glimmer of hope. However, a successful two-point raid by Amit Kumar for Puneri Paltan ended the defending champions’ hopes of a comeback as Anup Kumar’s men went on to register a comfortable eight-point win.
Puneri Paltan –
Best Raider – Manjeet (7 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Surjeet Singh (6 Tackle Points)
Bengaluru Bulls –
Best Raider – Rohit Kumar (7 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Amit Sheoran (4 Tackle Points)